North Otago sports roundup

St Kevin's College A wing defence Megan Dodd looks for support during her team's 35-24 win over...
St Kevin's College A wing defence Megan Dodd looks for support during her team's 35-24 win over Waitaki Girls' Wildfire in the North Otago premier netball competition on Saturday. PHOTO: REBECCA RYAN
The four qualifiers for the Citizens Shield semifinals have been decided with two weeks remaining.

Defending champion Valley continued its fine form with a 74-10 win over Athletic Marist at Weston Park on Saturday.

Meanwhile, second-placed Excelsior retained its position with a 55-14 win over Kurow, and Maheno retained fourth place after beating Old Boys 27-26.

Although Old Boys outscored Maheno four tries to three, it was the goalkicking of a revitalised Robbie Smith which handed Maheno its victory.

Hayden Tisdall put his side into the lead early when Maheno intercepted a loose Old Boys pass and dotted down for Smith to convert.

Old Boys hit back with an Ali Tuipolutu try, converted by Lemi Masoe to level the score.

Old Boys hooker Unga Kefu's try midway through the half gave Old Boys a 12-7 lead, but Maheno's livewire flanker Marcus Balchin's try followed by a Smith conversion took Maheno out to a 14-12 lead.

Smith extended that to 17-12 with a penalty on halftime.

Old Boys No8 Sami Tongotongo drew his side level four minutes into the second half and Masoe's conversion gave Old Boys a 19-17 lead.

A Smith penalty and a try to first five-eighth Lachie Kingan which Smith converted took Maheno to a 27-19 lead, and its defence was solid enough - allowing only a Masoe try and conversion - to hold out for a single-point victory.

At Weston Park, competition leader Valley dominated Athletic Marist, scoring 12 tries to two in its 74-10 win.

Valley bolted to a 47-5 halftime lead as its powerful pack laid the platform for seven tries in the first half.

Athletic Marist stuck to its task and did manage two tries, but Valley scored a further five of its own in the second forty.

Excelsior retained second place with a 55-14 win over Kurow.

On number two ground, Excelsior controlled the first half to lead 26-7 at halftime, and continued on to romp away with victory.

Netball

It was a tough day at the netball court for Waitaki Girls' as both its premier sides lost in premier netball on Saturday.

Valley Gold defeated Valley Silver 45-18 and Kurow A downed Athletic Maroon 35-33 in the other two games.

The Maheno/Lightning Strike game was an intensely physical game between the two top sides.

Lightning Strike dominated the first two quarters 11-7 and 15-14.

But Maheno hit back, led by goal keep Mel Smith and goal shoot Suzy Oakes, who was almost unstoppable, shooting 90% against the tall Lightning defence.

The experience of Maheno began to produce accurate passes under pressure, and finally guided the side to an eventual three-goal margin.

St Kevin's A handed a second loss to Waitaki Girls' when it defeated Wildfire 35-24.

Both teams started slowly. Wildfire led 8-5 after the first quarter, before St Kevin's fought back to lead 14-12 at halftime.

Ellen Swanson led the St Kevin's midcourt well, creating some good turnovers.

The depleted Wildfire side held its own until halftime before St Kevin's upped the pace and pressure.

Valley Gold used its game against Valley Silver to try out different combinations.

It took the game 45-17 after leading 23-11 at halftime.

Kurow A began brilliantly against Athletic Maroon, leading 13-5 after the first quarter.

Athletic came back in the second quarter to trail by five, though and after a tight second half tussle, Kurow had held on for a 35-33 win.

 - Terry O'Neill 

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